Sunday, October 8, 2006

"TAPAS"

5th Spanish Film Festival
Cinema 1, Greenbelt 3

Moon River

You would think that a film entitled "TAPAS" would be peppered with a lot of food. But nope, it isn't. Although it does feature a Tapas bar/restaurant, food isn't the only issue portrayed in this film.

It focuses on a small neighborhood in the suburbs of Barcelona. It shows us the daily travails of its working class inhabitants. Each of them have hidden secrets which are slowly revealed to the viewer.

You have Dona Conchi, an elderly woman who is a drug pusher. Raquel, a separated woman who finds love over the Internet. Cesar and Opo, 2 young guys who dream about getting laid during the summer. The owner of the Tapas restaurant, Lolo who hides the fact that his wife (the cook) left him so he has to hire a quirky Chinese guy named Mao to do the cooking. It all takes place within a little community during one of the hottest summers in the history of Spain.

It is a simple film that shows us a side of Barcelona that the ordinary tourist or visitor won't get the chance to see. The daily existence of a group of people who deal with loneliness and melancholy yet strive to live life the best way possible. The director just presents you a genuine portrayal of how people go about their daily lives. Not making any grand statement on whether what the old lady does is good or bad. Nor does tell us whether it is possible to find love over the Internet. It is just there for us to see and absorb. Whether we agree or not is not up to us either because we know from the film that that is just how life is in that little part of the world.

It is also interesting to note that the song "Moon River" still resonates a certain romantic poignancy even when it is shown in a Spanish film. A truly classic song to complement a simple light hearted film that tugs at your heart strings.

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